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What Makes a Great Business Name?

So you have decided to set up your business. You have done the math, created a plan and are set to get the business running. Yet one question continues to linger in your mind: what will you name your business?

Should you look for a fancy name? Or maybe something that’s downright eccentric? How do you get your target market to know and recognize your brand, as the world recognizes such names as Amazon, Coca Cola and Reddit?

These names are memorable for a number of reasons. The two major ones are that they are easy to pronounce and that the companies have built a reputation by selling quality goods and providing stellar services.

Granted, looking for a business name is anything but easy. But there are a few guidelines that can help ease this task for you.

Here are some thoughts on how to get a great business name:

  1. Clear and Easy to Pronounce

The cardinal rule about creating a business name is that people must be able to pronounce it with ease. If it is not easy on the tongue don’t use it.

Why is ease of pronunciation so important, you ask? It is because people are better able to remember names that they can pronounce easily. And if they can remember it often enough, they will no doubt have an easier time recommending it to their friends.

Before you settle on a name, be sure it is a clear one that is not difficult to pronounce. You can also ask for the opinion of others regarding your chosen name. Some feedback in real time can help save you plenty of trouble in the future.

  1. It shouldn’t be Too Vague or Out There

what makes a great business name - branding

When creating a business name, you must keep in mind that it is the most important bit of branding your business. Ensure that the name is both relevant and specific to your business.

It is by your name that your target market will be able to differentiate your business from others. You therefore simply can’t afford to give it a vague name. For instance, labeling your business as “Jake’s Marketing Company” simply makes it an addition to the countless other marketing companies, and this is certainly not good for business.

  1. It Should be Short and Sweet

what makes a great business name - short & sweet

Another rule that you should adhere to when coming up with a business name is that it should be short and sweet. Names such as Uber and Apple are ideal examples of such names.

Not only are short names easy to remember, but they are also easier to recognize. Additionally, most short names are easy to pronounce thus making them all the more memorable to your customers.

To better illustrate this point, imagine giving your business a long, complicated name. Studies show that people are more likely to forget longer names, so in essence you are simply making it that much harder for people to remember the existence of your business. Strive to come up with a short name that is memorable and it will pay off.

  1. A Great Brand Name can convey a Brand Message or Belief

what makes a great business name - brand message

You can also use your brand name to create a reputation for yourself. Don’t just pick the first name that comes to mind. Let there be an inspiring reason why you came up with the specific name, and your customers will learn to associate your business with this reason.

Take for instance the name “Acer”, which is a computer brand. It is a Latin word that stands for sharp, acute, able and facile. Not a bad reputation for computers, is it?

  1. It isn’t Spelled Different or Missing a Letter

Finally, to make it easy for people to relate to your company, do not spell its name differently from its normal spelling. Additionally, refrain from using initials as much as you can. Big companies such as KFC, IBM and 3M can get away with it, but it usually doesn’t work for starting businesses.

Also, do not drop certain letters from your name of choice in an effort to make it unique. Again, big tech companies such as Flickr can get away with it, but it can often do more harm than good. Especially when you are a new business and people are already struggling to find you online.

Choosing a business name is certainly not easy. But if you follow these tips, you should have an easier time settling on a great name.


Also published on Medium.